Welcome fight Enthusiasts to a Saturday morning slate of Mixed Martial Arts from London, England.
From the Main Event down to the opening bout this card is sleepy competitive and it features an English fighter in almost each matchup. Getcha tea and crumpets ready to enjoy a stacked UFC card rife with brash British barkers. As is the case each week we'll begin by posting Wednesday's Main Event breakdown then I'll post today's updated comments and releases following. Good Luck to all.
(All GambLou.com releases are understood to be a standard wager of one unit or $100.00. I employ $100.00 to easily track results as every GambLou.com release is accounted for. On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events I work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the Gamblou.com webpage. The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and ROI by week, month and year. Profitable Sports Gaming, it’s business).
--Originally published 3-13-19—
The UFC returns to London, England Saturday for a competitive thirteen fight slate featuring several British mixed martial artists. These bouts begin in the U.S. at 10am PT so fight enthusiasts please take note. In this week’s column we’ll break down the Main event.
Darren Till -250 vs. Jorge Masvidal +200 Welterweight (170lbs.) Main event
This will be a terrific contrast in styles and tactics.
Seventh ranked Welterweight Darren Till is a true Middleweight who cuts dynamic (and unsafe) amounts of weight in order to make the 171lb. limit for a Welterweight non-title fight so it’s of utmost importance to monitor his progress during the week up to and including Friday mornings official weigh-ins (2am PT). Once and if he does makes weight, he is then in position to rehydrate and use his massive size and weight (he’ll hit the Octagon on fight night an easy 185/190lbs.) to his advantage.
While I view this as basic cheating, it is allowed by the UFC and does come with risk as cutting abundant weight is a dangerous issue in this sport and Till is the poster boy for its abuse. The other factor about weight is that Till may simply decide he is unwilling to go all the way down to 171lbs. and show up two to five rounds over the limit!
The UFC penalty for this stunt is a minor slap on the wrist (if he misses he simply negotiates a portion of his purse go to the other fighter and is allowed fight provided the other fighter acquiesces. These cheaters do this knowing the other fighter has trained for months and desperately needs the cheese to pay his camp and his bills so opponents are prone to HAVE to take the fight).
This most minor deterrent which manifests itself into a fighters potential for monumental advantage is another subject for another time but it is absolutely a factor in this fight and there’s no way I move without understanding all ramifications regarding weight I this fight.
So let’s talk about the fight.
Till comes off a title fight against then Champion Tyronn Woodley in which the loud Liverpudlian was dominated and finished in the second round. It’s my opinion that the UFC rushed Till, a veteran of only six UFC fights into that fight as they tried to spotlight another young, brash striking based European fighter in the vein of Conor McGregor. The issue is of course that Till does not have near the magnetism, talent, precision striking or fluidity of movement as the foul mouthed Irishman.
Till is a Muay Thai, Boxing based striker. The southpaw pressures opponents and works effectively off a 1-2 combination as his basic form of offense as he much prefers to use his pressure to make opponents strike enabling him to use his most effecting counterpunching. Till’s devastating power comes from his left hand and if it lands cleanly the results are devastating.
While he is a huge, aggressive forward pressing striker, Till rarely utilizes kicks and has suspect defense inside the pocket preferring to move rather than evade and defend. He also has little grappling/wrestling acumen.
The one-dimensional power striker has made numerous comments lately that his plan is to return to the destroyer he was previous to his last two fights and finish Masvidal in round one (a tactic that carries high reward but also substantial risk). It’s Till’s opinion that in his last two bouts his patient approach was in error and contrary to who he is and how he wants to fight.
Till’s size, power and the fact that he is fighting in London do provide him advantage. His lack of a well-rounded fight arsenal both offensively and defensively, his inexperience and the fact that he is coming off of his first loss (which was also a title defeat) are reasons to have reservations about backing the heavily favored Brit.
Till’s opponent Saturday is eleventh ranked UFC Welterweight Jorge Masvidal who is a veteran of forty-five professional fights. He originally fought at the lightweight division before moving up to the more comfortable Welterweight division which is worthy of note. Till (a legitimate 185 lb. fighter) will appear massive next to Masvidal (previously a 155lb. fighter now competing at 170lbs.).
Masvidal, though a bit undersized for Welterweight is a unique and gifted fighter who of Cuban/Peruvian descent grew up fighting in the Miami street circuit so big men, short men, fat men and many men do not concern Masvidal as he’s been there before and in most cases has come out victorious.
Masvidal’s fighting at its core while is striking based with strong BJJ/wrestling influence but he is unusually unorthodox. He employs very fluid movement, evasive, effective strike defense and he has the pace and cardio to fight for an hour let alone five five-minute rounds.
In past fights Masvidal has relied a bit too much on pace and it’s manifested itself as starting slowly. He has often frustrated backers with his lack of output and urgency throughout fights instead relying on his ability to evade damage which has resulted in split-decision losses. Masvidal also knows where he is fighting and that it would take unusual circumstances for him to get his hand raised Saturday via the decision. Masvidal is cagey, beguiling and highly unorthodox. He’ll need to confuse/confound the brash Brit and take the fight deep if he is to try to secure any upset in my judgement.
From the opening bell, Till will try to walk Masvidal down and take the fight right to him in his quest to appear invincible before the home Countrymen which could be a superior error (remember Till is only twenty-six and this is but his eighth UFC fight).
I wonder if the patience and smart tactics his handlers suggested to him in his previous fights might be a more effective strategy Saturday as rushing in to engage Masvidal may enable Masvidal to work from inside the pocket (a position he is most effect with and Till is most ineffective at defending).
Masvidal must play matador in this fight and tire the young bull down over the first three or more rounds with the ambition that Till will tire and when he does Masvidal will be able to work his way inside and attack a tuckered Till.
Will Masvidal be able to survive the early onslaught and make a fight of this main event is the looming question?
This line opened Till -220 at Pinnacle and is now Till -240. PSW readers know I scour for value in underdogs. I regard Masvidal a potentially profitable pup in this spot but will exercise patience until the weigh-ins are complete to insure there are no surprises. Besides, why jump the dog now when the line is moving in its favor?
Check back here later in the week and on my GambLou.com webpage for all updates and releases.
Thank You for reading
--Updated 3-15-19 6:30pm ET--
Till -220 vs. Masvidal +200
Other than a little price increase on the brash Brit in the main event this fight has now settled in to current pricing above. Till has made weight and the main event is set to go off tomorrow AM without issue. Till will hold a massive size/power advantage to Masvidal’s experience, guile and craftiness. In the end Jorge tends to say all the right things prior to each of his fights but he then often executes a defensively apt yet offensively lacking effort. Unless I can get Masvidal +220 or better this fight is a pass.
Edwards -130 vs. Nelson +120
Best fight on the card in my opinion. If Nelson can use his thick frame, his clinch game and his will to work his way inside of Edwards striking and get the larger, taller, younger Edwards to the mat then it will be a long, long day for Gunni.
Edwards wrestling, his striking and his conditioning together present Nelson with a most dangerous opponent. In the end, I believe Edwards’ size, his vastly improved wrestling (namely the sprawl and brawl) and his athleticism combine keep Nelson at bay and off balance on the feet. Nelson’s striking though improved is not on par with Edwards and Edwards ground ability is such that it may be no automatic sub even if Nelson manages to get this fight to the floor. Edwards past body of work, his size and his upward ascent are not interrupted tomorrow am.
Edwards -117 (released via Twitter)
Silva -140 vs. Roberts +130
Roberts is a local who fights on all the English and European cards. He is athletic and a solid striking based fighter. Silva, a Brazilian who lives in London, trains in there and whose abode is within a block or two of the O2 arena is also in his back yard with plenty of hommies in attendance also. Though he took time off his return to the Octagon last out against Taleb was stellar and in Danny Roberts he gets a similarly fashioned one dimensional journeyman striker to compete against. This is a fine spot for Silva and I’ll use him as the first half of a rare parlay tied to Dom Reyes who is one bad hombre.
Silva -140/Reyes -220 (+150)
Breese -110 vs. Heinisch +100
Wrong bloke is being bet here amigos. Heinisch is wide, deliberate and telegraphing with his shot but he is tough, durable and determined. Breese is well the more experienced man, he longer, taller, younger, a southie and will hold dynamic reach advantages over the singularly dimensional Heinisch. Heinisch is a fine story but Breese is the much finer fighter.
McCann -200 vs. Cachoeira +190
McCann is a complete jobber. She’s a typical European boxing based striker who stands erect throughout her fights. She’s as tough as a three-dollar steak but she is slow, premeditated with her wide looping punches and she has very suspect ground defense. Enter Pricilla Cachoeira who is a competent striker but will be the taller, longer fighter. Cachoeira is getting discounted because the whuppin she took at the hands of Champion Shevchenko last year but I regard that fight as her PhD. In MMA. Cachoeira will work this stubby little English woman into a pulp. I believe there is no way McCann should be favored in this fight let alone a -200 chalk.
Cachoeira +200 (half)
*Look for an additional release via @Twitter today fight Enthusiasts as Tom Breese has been removed from today's card
Profitable Sports Gaming